17 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Retailers Join the Fight Against Card Cloning Syndicates

Photo: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay
(File photo).

Local retailers have joined the fight against card cloning which has seen many people losing money to cyber offenders.

In a bid to stop a wave of card cloning, a number of retail outlets now conduct extra verification on debit card holders before transacting.

Card cloning which is sometimes called skimming refers to the dark science of reproducing credit card information using a sophisticated electronic device without the consent of the credit card holder or the bank.

With local banks struggling to counter the card cloning attacks by upgrading their security layer systems, retailers have upped the fight through physical verification of credit holders which include cross checking National Identity Card initials versus those on the customer's debit card.

Taking a tour in the Harare Central Business District, leading hardware retailers such as Amanat, Bhola City Hardware and Nations Hardware are now demanding to see the customer's National ID before a POS swipe is done.

Speaking to shop managers in all those hardwares, they all sang the same tune that card cloning is a cancer which cripples progress in the retail sector since many clients and traders are now losing their hard earned income to cyber offenders.

Barely two months ago, Mr. Denford Mutashu who is the President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) was the first industrial player to come out in the public, campaigning against the prevalence of the card cloning syndicates.

Mutashu admitted that several businesses and individuals have lost thousands of dollars through such illegal money siphoning activities.

He added that card cloning was not prevailing in the retail sector only but also in airlines and other sectors.

The rise of plastic money and the emergence of mobile money payment solutions does not come cheap as there is need for heavy investment towards the building of cyber security infrastructures to encrypt every transaction which carried out of traditional banking setups.

Last year alone, the Zimbabwe Republic Police recorded over 150 cases of card cloning offenses committed through various syndicates which included alliances with hospitality employees to dupe unsuspecting customers.

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